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Catherine Holecko

Winning the lunch war

By March 26, 2012

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My son loves bell peppers, but last week he told me he didn't want them packed in his school lunch anymore. Other kids were calling them "gross" and saying they'd never eat peppers. We talked about how it isn't nice to comment about other people's food like that, and came up with a few responses he might use (like "Good! More for me!"). Eventually, he decided he would ask the principal to remind the children about cafeteria manners. The principal agreed and even told my son that peppers are his favorite too.

Lunch Wars by Amy KalafaIf only every lunchroom battle was so easily resolved! For more challenging fights, I've just read a book that might help. It's called Lunch Wars: How to Start a School Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children's Health (published by Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin). In it, author Amy Kalafa presents her case for that revolution and shares strategies and advice for those wishing to join her and take up the cause. Even if you don't fully agree with Kalafa's premise (that school food can be downright harmful, and parents must seek sweeping changes), you'll find much to think about in this volume. And if you're already an advocate, you'll appreciate the tips, inspirational case stories, and sample documents in the book. (And I'd love to hear about any school-food victories you've scored.)

March 28, 2012 at 1:01 am
(1) Karla says:

I will have to read the book. We pack our son’s lunch 4 out of 5 days (he loves edamame, but no peppers – I do!). So far he hasn’t had the presure to stop things, but he sees (and I have seen too because I have had lunch with him there) other kids with sugary drinks and full-sized candy bars in their packed lunch. (um, thought a packed lunch was a healthier alternative?). We just try to teach him balance and moderation (and learn it ourselves) and let him have a “sugary” treat once in a while.

They try with the hot lunch, but it’s bused in from the HS. At least they don’t have the candy bar/soda option to purchase in elementary school. Right now, we are concentrating to add some variety to the lunch we pack and get him to eat more veggies :) Then I guess we have to get craking on the school lunch options!!

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